SIO 219, 1 unit S/U
Professor William R. Young
wryoung at
Phone: 858 534 1380
Office: Keck room 353 - this is at the extreme north-east corner of SIO. As far and high as possible from the Director's Office, while still remaining on the SIO campus

Meetings Friday 3:30pm, Keck Conference Room

Description The theme of the theory seminar this quarter is Langmuir circulation, mixing of the upper ocean, Craik-Leibovich theory and the interaction of surface gravity waves with deeper processes. There'll be a mixture of research seminars and student-led presentations of key papers. Students are encouraged to register for the class, and participation by interested post-docs and faculty is very welcome.

Course Requirements Students should register as S/U. Registered students will be expected to present at least one paper during the quarter. At the start of each class, registered students are asked to submit a one-page summary of, or comment on, the assigned paper. Your one-pager should include at least one question or comment designed to provoke group discuss of the paper.

The reading list below is under development. Participants are encouraged to suggest papers that they like to read and discuss.


Friday 10th April. Alisa Beaubien will lead the discussion on papers P1 (Langmuir, 1938) and S4 (Weller & Price, 1988) S4. The first seminar is here.

Friday 17th April. Bill Young will lead the discussion on papers P2 (Craik & Leibovich 1976) and R1 (Leibovich 1983) S4. The second seminar is here.

Friday 24th April. Yue Wu will lead the discussion on papers S3 (Longuet Higgins 1969) and S5 (Ursell & Deacon 1950) S4. The third seminar is here.

Friday 1st May. Sean Haney will lead the discussion of P4 (Craik 1977) and S14 (Faller and Caponi) The fourth seminar is here.

Friday 8th May. Catherine Jones will lead the discussion of P5 (McWilliams and Restrepo) and P3 (Huang 1979) The fifth seminar is here.

Friday 15th May. Nick Pizzo will lead the discussion of P10 (Garrett 1976) and S15 (Hasselmann 1971). The sixth seminar is here.

Friday 21st May. Greg Wagner will lead the discussion of P11 (McWilliams and Fox-Kemper 2013). The seventh seminar is here.

Friday 28th May. Jerry Smith will lead the discussion of P12 (Smith 1998).



P1. Langmuir, Irving. 1938. "Surface Motion of Water Induced by Wind." Science 87 (2250): 119-23.

P2. Craik, ADD, and S. Leibovich. 1976. "A Rational Model for Langmuir Circulations." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 73 (03). Cambridge Univ Press: 401-26.

P3. Huang, Norden E. 1979. "On Surface Drift Currents in the Ocean." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 91 (Part 1). Cambridge Univ Press: 191-208.

P4. Craik, ADD. 1977. "The Generation of Langmuir Circulations by an Instability Mechanism." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 81 (02). Cambridge Univ Press: 209-23.

P5. McWilliams, James C, and Juan M Restrepo. 1999. "The Wave-Driven Ocean Circulation." Journal of Physical Oceanography 29 (10): 2523-40. doi:10.1175/1520-0485(1999)029<2523:TWDOC>2.0.CO;2.

P6. Leibovich, S., and S. Paolucci. 1981. "The Instability of the Ocean to Langmuir Circulations." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 102 (JAN): 141-67.

P7. Polton, JA, DM Lewis, and SE Belcher. 2005. "The Role of Wave-Induced Coriolis-Stokes Forcing on the Wind-Driven Mixed Layer." Journal of Physical Oceanography 35 (4): 444-57.

P8. Gnanadesikan, Anand, and Robert A Weller. 1995. "Structure and Instability of the Ekman Spiral in the Presence of Surface Gravity Waves." Journal of Physical Oceanography 25 (12): 3148-71.

P9. D'Asaro et al. 2014. "Quantifying upper ocean turbulence driven by surface waves" Geophysical Research Letters, vol 41 doi:10.1002/2013GL058193

P10. Garrett, Christopher 1976. "Generation of Langmuir circulation by surface waves - a feedback mechnaism". Journal of Marine Research, vol 34 pp 117-130

P11. McWilliams, James C and Fox-Kemper, Baylor 2013. "Oceanic wave-balanced surface fronts and filaments". Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol 730 pp 464-490

P12. Smith, J. A. (1998). "Evolution of Langmuir circulation during a storm." Journal of Geophysical Research 103(C6): 12,649-612,668.


S1. Stokes, George, Gabriel 1947. "On the Theory of Oscillatory Waves" Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society vol 8 p441.

S2. Kenyon, Kern E. 1969. "Stokes Drift for Random Gravity Waves." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 74 (28). Wiley Online Library: 6991-94.

S3. Longuet-Higgins, Michael S. 1969. "On the Transport of Mass by Time-Varying Ocean Currents" 16 (5). Elsevier: 431-47.

S4. Weller, Robert A, and James F Price. 1988. "Langmuir Circulation Within the Oceanic Mixed Layer." Deep Sea Research Part a. Oceanographic Research Papers 35 (5). 711-47.

S5. Ursell, F., and GER Deacon. 1950. "On the Theoretical Form of Ocean Swell on a Rotating Earth." Geophysical Journal International 6: 1-8.

S6. Backus, G E. 1962. "The Effect of the Earth's Rotation on the Propagation of Ocean Waves Over Long Distances." Deep-Sea Research 9 (3): 185-97.

S7. McIntyre, M E. 1981. "On the `Wave Momentum' Myth." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 106. Cambridge Univ Press: 331-47.

S8. Holm, Darryl D. 1996. "The Ideal Craik-Leibovich Equations." Physica D 98 (2-4): 415–41. doi:10.1016/0167-2789(96)00105-4.

S9. Leibovich, Sidney. 1977. "On the Evolution of the System of Wind Drift Currents and Langmuir Circulations in the Ocean. Part 1. Theory and Averaged Current." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 79 (04). Cambridge Univ Press: 715-43.

S10. Leibovich, Sidney. 1977. "Convective Instability of Stably Stratified Water in the Ocean." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 82 (03). Cambridge Univ Press: 561-81.

S11. Starr V. P. 1959. "Hydrodynamical analogy to E = m c^2." Tellus, vol 11, pp135--138.

S12. Faller, A. J. 1969. "The generation of Langmuir circulations by the eddy pressure of surface waves" Limnology and Oceanography. Vol 14, pp504-513.

S13. Leibovich, S. 1980. "On Wave-Current Interaction Theories of Langmuir Circulations." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 99 (04). Cambridge Univ Press: 715-24.

S13. Stommel, Henry 1951. "Streaks on Natural Water Surfaces." Weather 6(3), 72-74, DOI: 10.1002/j.1477-8696.1951.tb01309.x , Royal Meteorological Society.

S14. Faller, Alan J and Caponi, Enrique A 1978. "Laboratory studies of wind-driven Langmuir circulations". Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 83 (C7) 3617-3633

S15. Hasselmann 1971. "On the mass and momentum transfer between short gravity waves and larger-scale motions". Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol 50 pp 189--205

S16. Longuet Higgins & Stewart 1964. "Radiation Stresses in water waves: a physical discussion". Deep-Sea Research, vol 11 pp 529--562


R1. Leibovich, S. 1983. "The Form and Dynamics of Langmuir Circulations." Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 15: 391-427.

R2. Leibovich, S. 1997. "Surface and Near-Surface Motion of Oil in the Sea." Final report to the Minerals Management Service.

R2. Smith J. A. 2001. "Observations and Theories of Langmuir Circulation: A Story of Mixing" In: Fluid Mechanics and the Environment: Dynamical Approaches. Springer.

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